The way to create suffering, peace and happiness

Huaigu Wang
Huaigu Wang
Since 1995 till now, I have been following the kind mentor of BPI to start the journey on Buddhism....Read More

  Essay Writing of Buddhas’ Practice Incorporated
  (Issue 11)
  The way to create suffering, peace and happiness

  Instructor: Shi Wuguang
  Author: Wang Huaigu
  December 11, 2022

  Abstract
  The way to create suffering is to rely on afflictions, evil karma and selfishness; the way to create peace and happiness is to rely on wisdom, precepts ,kindness, compassion ,joy and giving. Buddha Shakyamuni emerged from the world to let beings know what is the dharma of suffering and the dharma of happiness. But there are partially beings who are stubborn and hard to be converted, unbelieving and not subdued, and difficult to be regulated and be subdued. They still rely on afflictions, evil karma, and selfishness to create evil karma that makes them suffer, and are not willing to rely on Buddhas’ wisdom, precepts, and kindness, compassion, joy and giving to create good karma that makes them peaceful and happy.
  Therefore, it is difficult to leave suffering and attain happiness. However, if Bodhisattvas can use the methods of creating peace and happiness for themselves and others, uphold the Bodhisattva spirit of altruism, and stay away from the methods of creating suffering for themselves and others, they will surely be able to leave the final suffering and attain ultimate happiness as soon as possible, and accomplish the great task of leaving suffering and attaining happiness.
  Key Words: afflictions, wisdom, kindness, compassion, joy and giving, leaving suffering and attaining happiness, altruism  

Chapter 1 Introduction

  The way to create suffering is through afflictions, bad karma and selfishness, while the way to create peace and happiness is through wisdom, discipline , kindness, compassion, joy and giving.
  The Buddha came into the world to make people know what is the dharma of suffering and the dharma of happiness, so that people will only create the way of happiness, not the way of suffering. As the Sutra of the Past Vows of Earth Store Boddhisattva: “ Buddha Shakyamuni, in the five turbid evil world, can manifest the unimaginable great wisdom and the spiritual power , subdue the rigid and obstinate sentient beings to let them know what is the dharma of suffering and happiness.”
  But there are still sentient beings who do not change their bad habits, do not believe the Buddha and are not subdued, difficult to regulate and subdue, still rely on annoyance, bad karma and selfishness in the creation of bad karma to make them suffering, not rely on wisdom, precepts and kindness, compassion ,joy and giving to create good karma to make their own happiness. One of the reasons is that they do not know that the way to create suffering is by relying on annoyance, bad karma and selfishness, and the way to create happiness is by relying on wisdom, principle ,kindness, compassion, joy and giving.

Chapter 2 Ways to create suffering

  The way to create misery and suffering is relying on afflictions, bad karma, and selfishness. Why does it say this?

  1. The way to create suffering is to rely on afflictions. Relying on vexations means that one likes to follow afflictions to self-harm, to calculate what is good for oneself, and even to forget righteousness seeing the benefit. All the afflictions can destroy all the happiness of the self and others, so that beings only suffer along. As the Sutra of the Precepts for Upasaka says: “All the afflictions are my great grievance. Why? Because it is the afflictions that can destroy the self and others.”
  How do the afflictions of the beings run and create ? In fact, every thought, every drop, every moment in the mind of beings is on fire, completely trapped in the house of the fire, the sea of fire of greed, hatred, ignorance, arrogance and doubt. Sometimes he is anxious to be greedy, but if something or somebody contradicts greed, his mind becomes agitated and the fire of hatred and anger arises; if something or somebody contradicts arrogance, his mind becomes angry and even burns with fire; sometimes he is suspicious and doubtful, and his mind is like burning with fire; sometimes he is of false thinking flying and caught in a weave of sparks.
  He is indeed like a stubborn and foolish child who does not want to get out of this house of fire but is obsessed with it. Even though the Buddha kindly and compassionately called him thousands of times, he refused to follow the Buddha, and even though he was given three chariot toys – a sheep chariot, a deer chariot, and a bullock chariot – to provide happiness and pluck off suffering, it was still difficult to shake his obsessed and stubborn mind. In the end, the Buddha could only make a great kind and compassionate vows to go with him to the house of fire to help him to change for a long time. This shows that all afflictions can make beings only suffering along with them, the way to create suffering is to rely on afflictions.
  Then look at Murong Fu in the Gods , Dragons and the Eightfold Division. He enjoys the name of the South Murong on the surface, also seems to have casual and elegant bearing, water light flowing smooth, but has deep inner afflictions, likes to follow the afflictions to take self-cruelty, all day long calculates how to do with his own advantage, selfishness and self-cruelty occupy his whole body and mind, and as long as he sees the profit ,he will forget righteousness.
  Everywhere he goes, when he encounters any situation, the first thing is to calculate and calculate, is it beneficial to him? As long as it is beneficial, he can forget about righteousness, which is typical of forgetting righteousness in the face of profit. And forgetting righteousness will certainly lose everything.
  And he is dictatorial, does not listen to the sincere advice of two loyal men, and even one of them is brutally killed, so that the other no longer also sees any future and hope, only helplessly leaving him in grief and anger.
  He is also temperamental, cruel, ungrateful, not knowing and being mindful of kindness and favor. Even his cousin, who has always been good for him and has always followed him, is finally ruthlessly pushed down the dry well by him, because she interferes with his interests and his great plan to restore his country.
  In the end, he is doomed to the end of his life, accomplishing nothing and living numbly in the illusion. It is because he does not know the deceptive, destructive, and corrupting nature of afflictions and likes to follow them to self-harm so that he is bound to fail and suffer a lot in the end. From this, we can see that the best way to create more suffering is to rely on the afflictions, follow them, and not to let go of them.

  2. Also, the way to create suffering is to rely on greed. All suffering arises from greed. Being greedy of eating and drinking, eating and drinking indiscriminately, being greedy of sleeping and sex are the ways to create suffering. For example, if someone likes to eat bread, one or two, they feel good, but if they eat ten in a row, they don’t feel good anymore, and if they eat 100 in a row, they don’t feel good, they just suffer.
  Why is this so? This is because when the amount of greed is small, one cannot see whether the essence of being greedy of eating is bitter or happy, and people generally think it is happy; but once the amount of greed reaches a large amount, one can see that the nature of greed is bitter, so when one eats 100 pieces of bread in a row, one feels miserable, not happy. And the really good stuff is that the more it is, the better it is, the more it is, the happier one is. For example, money, one is happy when one has a million dollars, and when one 10 million or 10 million dollars, one still feels happy. But this is not the case with gluttony. The more you covet, the more you feel miserable when one reaches a certain amount.
  Similarly, if being greedy for sleep, greedy for sex, is to a certain amount ,the feeling is not good, not happy, but painful. Beings are deceived by the feeling of the small amount, once the amount is more, one feels only painful.
  In addition, according to scientific research: when people are in a state of hunger or fasting, because macrophages can devour the remnants of the human body or other cells, and then can be converted into nutrient-rich new cells, it is enough for people to survive, to maintain human survival, and much stronger than what people imagine and think is the best nutrition. So one does not need to crave anything at all , but can survive better.
  Also, the Sutra of the Past Vows of Earth Store Bodhisattva says, “To gluttons he says that hunger, thirst and sicknesses of the throat will be the retribution.” The meaning is: Those who eat and drink in excess can only make themselves suffer from sickness.
  Therefore, if one wants to create suffering, one only needs to rely on greed, and relying on greed is the way to create suffering.

  3. Also, the way to create suffering is by relying on bad karma and not keeping the precepts. In other words, the retributions of doing bad karma and not keeping the precepts are painful. For example, killing beings will bring about ten kinds of painful rewards.
  First, it causes beings to fear and suffer. Second, it causes the suffering of death for all sentient beings. Third, it causes the habit of hatred. Fourth, it incurs the suffering of constant illness. Fifth , it incurs short life span. Sixth, it brings on seeking harm from the soul of the enemies. Seventh, it incurs nightmares at night. Eighth, it incurs the gathering of all the resentments. Ninth, it incurs fear of entering the evil paths. Tenth, it incurs the retributions of suffering of hells, hungry ghosts, and animals.
  From this, we can see that killing is a bitter dharma that can bring all kinds of terrible suffering to all sentient beings. The ten vicious karmas are all suffering, bringing all kinds of terrible suffering to sentient beings. It is because relying on bad karma and not keeping the precepts are all ways of creating suffering.
  It is also said in the Sutra of the Past Vows of Earth Store Bodhisattva: “To killers, Earth Store Bodhisattva says that short lifespans will be the retribution. To robbers he says that poverty and acute suffering will be the retribution. To those who indulge in improper sex he says that rebirth as sparrows, pigeons or mandarin drakes or ducks will be the retribution…… To those with deviant views he says that being reborn in undeveloped regions without proper Dhrama will be the retribution.” Therefore, relying on bad karma and not keeping the precepts are all ways to create suffering.
  In summary, relying on annoyance, bad karma and selfishness are all ways of creating suffering.

Chapter 3 Methods of creating peace and happiness

  We already know how to create suffering. Then what is the way to create peace and happiness? The way to create happiness is to rely on wisdom, principle, kindness , compassion, joy and giving.

  1. By relying on wisdom, one does not abandon the Buddha’s dwelling and does not violate the laws of the world, which naturally makes one peaceful and happy. It is said in the Flower Adornment Sutra that a Bodhisattva should not abandon the Buddha’s dwelling, not violate the worldly laws, and be manifesting in the world without attachment to the world. That is to say, the Bodhisattva should abide in all the realms of Buddha’s precepts, meditation, wisdom, liberation and liberating insight. That is not to give up the Buddha’s dwelling, that is to dwell in wonderful realm, not to dwell in not wonderful realm. Because the Buddha’s realm of precepts, meditation, wisdom, liberation and liberating insight is the most subtle and supreme realm, the Bodhisattva only abides in the subtle realm, not the subtle realm.
  At the same time, the Bodhisattva must not violate the laws and regulations of the world, and must often compare them with the acts, laws and regulations, and apply them precisely to all his actions. This is also very important. If we rely on Buddhism alone and do not follow the laws and regulations of the world, then we will break the law. If we break the law, we have to violate the law, and if we violate the law, we have to go to jail, and sometimes we have to pay huge fines, and we have to suffer for it. Therefore, to rely on wisdom, not to abandon the Buddha’s dwelling, and not to violate the laws of the world, is the way to create peace and happiness.

  2. The way to create peace and happiness is to create good deeds, keep the precepts, giving and make offerings. The precepts are the foundation of the supreme bodhi, and can nurture all the good roots , so naturally there is peace and happiness brought by all the good roots. The Sutra on the Ten Good Karmas Preached by the Buddha says, “If you are free from hatred, you will have eight kinds of dharma of joyfulness. The first one is to incur a non-disturbing mind. The second one is to incur anger-free mind……The fifth one is to incur compassion of the saint. The sixth one is to incur the mind of always doing good and peace to all sentient beings.” It is said that if one is free from hatred, one can attain all kinds of peace and happiness.
  If one makes offerings, one can end all sufferings, and if one makes offerings, you must obtain the wisdom of the Buddhas. With the Buddha’s wisdom, all kinds of peace and happiness will come. Another example is the Sutra of the Past Vows of Earth Store Bodhisattva , which also mentions the blessings and happiness obtained by making offerings, “Good men or women in the future may, upon encountering images of Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, Pratyekabuddhas, or Wheel-Turning Kings, give gifts or make offerings to them. Such persons will attain limitless blessings and will always enjoy supremely wonderful bliss among people and gods. If they can dedicate that merit to the Dharma Realm, their blessings and benefits will be beyond compare. ”
  Also, “In the future, good men or good women may plant good roots in the Buddhadharma by giving, making offerings, repairing stupas or monasteries, rebinding sutras, or doing other good deeds amounting to no more than a strand of hair, a mote of dust, a grain of sand, or a drop of water. Merely by transferring the merit from such deeds to the Dharma Realm, those people’s merits and virtues will enable them to enjoy superior and wonderful bliss for hundreds of thousands of lives . If they dedicate the merit only to their immediate or extended families or to their own personal benefit, then the rewards received will be only three lives of happiness. By giving up one, a ten-thousandfold reward is obtained. ”It tells us that giving and making offerings is the way to create peace and happiness.

  3. The way to create peace and happiness is to be altruistic, to be kind , compassionate, joyful and giving, to protect the interests of others. The movie It’s a Wonderful Life has been evaluated as an unparalleled heartwarming and inspirational classic. In English-speaking countries and other countries where Christmas is a major holiday, it enjoys a very high reputation. Why is that? The love ,kindness, compassion ,joy and giving of the main character, George, has touched and conquered many people!
  Jesus Christ, similar to the Bodhisattva in Buddhism, has gained the trust of the whole West because of his kindness, compassion, joy, and giving for saving and rescuing all beings. The main character George’s love ,compassionate, joyful and giving habit, was from childhood, that is to say, he came with the mission of rescuing beings and protecting their interests, starting from helping his brother to helping the residents of the whole small town, giving up his youth, travelling around the world, the dream of the university, so that he has passed through a series of difficult time in this life, gaining the universal prayers and praise of all beings, and also alarmed the God of heaven, naturally networked with the God of heaven, so God sent an angel to protect him and rescue him, and saved his life when he was desperate to commit suicide, so that he could get through another difficult time.
  It is true that the God helps the man who helps the others, to give is to get. In the end, he became the richest man ,the most popular man, the most happy man, and the most worthy of God’s protection in the small town, ,
  From the perspective of Buddhism, one can see that: cause and effect are incredible; kindness , compassion, joy and giving, entering the room of the Buddha and going to all beings are incredible; wealth is hidden in kindness and compassion, good luck is hidden in kindness and compassion, happiness is also hidden in kindness and compassion, the flowers and fruits of the Bodhi are also hidden in kindness and compassion, all this good ,merit and virtue are not necessarily hidden in the university, nor hidden in the big city, nor hidden in the romantic world.
  As long as he has kindness and compassion, the small town will have everything he wants and does not expect, because kindness and compassion are the keys to all the treasures, and kindness and compassion has no barriers! As the great writer Shakespeare said, “Kindness and compassion is a double blessing, both to those who give it and to those who receive it.”
  The Avatamsaka Sutra says, “For example, in the midst of a moraine in the wilderness, there is the king of the great tree. If the root receives water, the branches, leaves, flowers, and fruits all flourish. The same is true of the king of the bodhi trees in the wilderness of birth and death. All sentient beings are the roots of the tree, and all Buddhas and Bodhisattvas are the flowers and fruits of the tree. If the water of great compassion is used to benefit all sentient beings, then the flowers and fruit of wisdom of the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas can be achieved. What is the reason for this? If the bodhisattvas, with the water of great compassion, benefit all sentient beings, they can achieve Anuttara­samyak­sambodhi. Therefore, Bodhi belongs to all sentient beings. If there are no sentient beings, all Bodhisattvas cannot attain the Supreme Right Enlightenment.”
  There is also the forty-first volume of the Sutra of Great Jewel Accumulated: “Kindness can save and rescue all sentient beings; the great kindness is limitless and make one self-pleasure in donating and giving , and can give peace and happiness to all sentient beings.”
  Therefore, altruism, kindness ,compassion, joy, and giving, and protecting the interests of others is the way to create peace and happiness, and it also enables the Bodhisattva to achieve the flowers and fruits of supreme Bodhi and obtain true and ultimate peace without the slightest bitterness.
  If there is someone who is really determined to practice the Bodhisattva path and achieve the supreme Buddha path, who has truly understood the profound meaning of this film and the true meaning of ultimate true happiness, what is there to worry about and what is there to hesitate about? If one enters the chamber of the Buddha, practices great kindness, compassion ,joy and giving, goes to all sentient beings, defends them, and rescues them, then supreme bodhi and supreme peace and happiness will be out of reach , they will be just around the corner or can be expected soon!

Chapter 4 Conclusion

  In summary, the way to create suffering is to rely on afflictions, bad karma and selfishness, while the way to create peace and happiness is to rely on wisdom, principle ,kindness ,compassion ,joy and giving.
  If we, the disciples of the Buddhas, can establish the method of creating peace and happiness for ourselves and others, uphold the Bodhisattva spirit of not seeking peace and happiness for ourselves, but wishing the beings to be free from suffering , and stay away from the method of creating suffering for ourselves and others, we will definitely be able to leave suffering and achieve happiness soon, to leave the final suffering , to leave the suffering of injustice, and to achieve ultimate happiness and true happiness.

  References
  I. Ancient texts (in chronological order of dynasties)

  1. Beiliang, translated by Tanwuchan :vol. 7, the Sutra of the Precepts for Upasaka , vol. 24 of Dazhengzang.
  2. Tang, translated by Shikonanda: vol. 1 of the Sutra of the Past Vows of Earth Store Bodhisattva, vol. 13. Of Dazhengzang.
  3. Tang, translated by Shikonanda: vol. 20 of the Flower Adornment, vol. 10 of Dazhong Zang.
  4. Tang, translated by Shikonanda: The Sutra of the Ten Good Deeds, vol. 15 of Dazhengzang.
  5. Tang, translated by Prajna: vol. 40 of the Avatamsaka Sutra, vol. 10 of Dazhengzang.
  6. Tang, translated by Bodhi Liuzhi: vol. 41 of the Sutra of Great Jewel Accumulated, vol. 11 of Dazhengzang.

  II. Others
  1. Website name: Bright Side, URL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gXC6LHkUPnE One-Day Hunger Secrets Receives Nobel Prize, January 30, 2019.
  2. It’s a Wonderful Life, URL: https://www.nunuyy5.org/dianying/28715.html, 1946.

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